Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:00 AM

Tuesday's SEC Tips

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Let’s get you updated on SEC hoops, something that finally exists again after a decade in the toilet -- outside of Florida and Kentucky – but is back on the map nationally the last two years.

Tennessee’s dream season continues and the Volunteers are now alone at the top of the conference standings after Arkansas went into Baton Rouge and handed LSU its first SEC defeat. Rick Barnes’s team (12-7 against the spread) is 20-1 and perfect through eight league contests.

UT will take a 16-game winning streak into tonight’s showdown vs. Missouri. As of early this morning, most books had the Vols installed as a 17-point home favorites against the Tigers, who are 1-4 both straight up and ATS. Tennessee is undefeated in 12 home games with a 5-5-1 spread ledger.

Since needing overtime win at Vanderbilt on Jan. 23, UT has covered the number in three straight games. The Vols downed West Virginia 83-66 before winning 92-70 at South Carolina and 93-76 at Texas A&M. Grant Williams torched the Aggies for 22 points on 9-of-12 shooting from the field. He also had 10 rebounds, four assists, two blocked shots and one steal.

Jordan Bone produced 18 points and five rebounds with a 10/2 assist-to-turnover ratio. Bone buried all of seven of his FGAs and went 4-of-4 from beyond the arc. Lamont Turner added 19 points, three steals, two boards and seven assists compared to merely one turnover.

This game marks Cuonzo Martin’s return to Thompson-Boling Arena for the first time since serving as UT’s head coach by replacing the ultra-popular Bruce Pearl, who was forced out by former AD Mike Hamilton after misleading the NCAA during an investigation into the school’s basketball program. Martin led the Vols to the Sweet 16 in the final season of his three-year tenure, but left Knoxville to take the head-coaching job at Cal before eventually exiting for Mizzou.

Missouri (11-9 SU, 8-11-1 ATS) is 2-6 in SEC play after losing its best player, Jontay Porter, to a season-ending ACL tear in October. Mark Smith, the Tigers’ second-leading scorer (12.6 points per game, 5.5 RPG), has missed three games in a row (sprained ankle) since scoring 22 points and seven rebounds in a Jan. 23 loss at Arkansas. Smith is ‘questionable’ tonight vs. UT. Missouri is mired in a 2-6 ATS slump.

This game will tip at 9:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN2.

As of early this morning, most books had Auburn (15-6 SU, 10-9 ATS) listed as a 7.5-point favorite for tonight’s home game vs. Florida. The total was 137.5 points.

Pearl’s team is 11-1 SU and 7-4 ATS at home following Saturday’s 84-63 win over Alabama as a 10-point ‘chalk.’ A 6-0 ‘over’ run for the Tigers came to a halt when the 147 combined points slithered ‘under’ the 152-point tally. Bryce Brown led the winners with 23 points on 5-of-7 shooting from 3-point range.

UF saw its three-game SEC winning streak snapped Saturday when it allowed an 11-point second-half lead to get away in a 65-54 loss to Kentucky as a four-point home underdog. The 119 combined points fell ‘under’ the 132-point total. The Gators led 42-31 with 13 minutes left, only to score only six points in the next 11-pluls minutes.

UK’s Tyler Herro scored a game-high 19 points by burying 6-of-8 field-goal attempts, 3-of-4 shots from 3-point territory and all four of his FTAs. P.J. Washington added 15 points and 12 rebounds.

UF’s Andrew Nembhard scored 12 points and had three assists and two steals. KeVaughn Allen and Jalen Hudson scored 11 points apiece for the Gators, who are 2-3 SU and 3-2 ATS in five road assignments.

Florida has failed to cover the spread in four consecutive games. UF is winless SU and 1-5 ATS in six games as an underdog this year. This is the Gators’ richest spot as underdogs.

Florida has an 11-game winning streak over Auburn and has won 21 of the last 22 head-to-head meetings. AU’s last win over UF came at the 2009 SEC Tournament.

The ‘under’ is 13-8 overall for Florida, 4-1 in its five road games. Going back further, the ‘under’ has cashed at a 12-2 clip in the Gators’ past 14 road contests. The ‘over’ is on a 6-1 run for Auburn to improve to 12-8 overall and 7-4 in its home outings.

Tip-off on ESPNU is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

Kentucky (18-3 SU, 12-9 ATS) returns home to Rupp Arena tonight to face South Carolina as a 16-point favorite. The total was 146.5 points as of early this morning. The SEC Network will have the telecast at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.

Since losing its league opener at Alabama, John Calipari’s club has won eight games in a row and covered the spread in six straight. However, the Wildcats are 4-6 ATS as double-digit ‘chalk’ and 0-2 ATS in a pair of such spots against SEC competition.

UK and LSU are tied for the second place in the SEC with identical 7-1 conference records. South Carolina (11-10 SU, 8-12 ATS) is in fourth place with a 6-2 mark in SEC action.

Frank Martin’s team went into Athens on Saturday and beat Georgia by an 86-80 count as a 2.5-point road underdog. The ‘over’ (149) was an easy winner to hit in a fifth straight USC game. The ‘over’ is on a 9-1 run for the Gamecocks, who have seen the ‘over’ go 15-4 overall and 5-2 in their road games.

Chris Silva scored 19 points and grabbed six rebounds at UGA. A.J. Lawson finished with 19 points and seven boards, while Hassani Gravett and Keyshawn Bryant were also in double figures with 13 and 11 points, respectively.

South Carolina is 3-4 SU and 4-3 ATS in seven road assignments. The Gamecocks are 6-6 ATS with five outright wins in 12 games as underdogs. They’re 2-0 ATS in a pair of games as double-digit underdogs, winning outright at UF as 11-point ‘dogs and losing 89-78 at Michigan as 17-point puppies.

UK had won four in a row both SU and ATS over South Carolina into going to Columbia last year. That’s when the Gamecocks beat the ‘Cats 76-68 as one-point home underdogs. The ‘over’ hit for the third straight time in this rivalry. In fact, the ‘over’ is 22-10 in the past 32 UK-USC meetings and 10-4 in the last 14 times they’ve collided at Rupp.

Another SEC game on tap tonight is Vanderbilt at Arkansas. The Razorbacks were eight-point home favorites this morning with the total at 147.5. The SEC Network will provide television coverage at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

Arkansas is in a six-way tie for fifth place in the SEC standings. Mike Anderson’s team shared as 4-4 league record along with Alabama, Florida, Auburn, Ole Miss and Mississippi State. Meanwhile, Vandy is the only team still looking for its first SEC win with a 0-8 conference record.

Arkansas (13-8 SU, 11-10 ATS) has won back-to-back games and three of its last four while going 4-0 ATS. The Razorbacks won 90-89 at LSU as 10-point underdogs Saturday night at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Daniel Gafford led the way with 23 points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots. Isaiah Joe added 18 points and Keyshawn Embery-Simpson had 16 points in 22 minutes off the bench.

Vandy is 2-7 ATS during its current nine-game losing streak. Six of its nine losses have come by double-digit margins and seven have come by at least nine points. The Commodores lost 77-66 at Missouri on Saturday night despite Smith’s absence for the Tigers.

The ‘under’ is 15-6 overall for the Hogs, 10-3 in their home games. However, the ‘over’ has cashed in four consecutive Vandy games.

Arkansas is 6-1 both SU and ATS in its last seven games against Vandy. The ‘under’ has prevailed in the past four games of this rivalry.

B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets

-- Penn State ended its eight-game losing streak last night by winning 59-52 at Northwestern as a 3.5-point road underdog, hooking up money-line supporters with a +145 return (paid $145 on $100 wagers). The 111 combined points dropped ‘under’ the 131.5-point total. Lamar Stevens led PSU with 18 points, seven rebounds, six assists and two blocked shots.

-- Louisville was a live underdog last night, too, capturing a 72-64 win at Va. Tech as a five-point underdog. Gamblers on U of L to win outright cashed a +180 money-line ticket. The 136 combined points inched ‘over’ the 135-point total. Ryan McMahon scored 17 points in 16 minutes of playing time from off the bench. McMahon drained 4-of-5 launches from downtown and all five of his FTAs.

-- Kansas State (16-5 SU, 11-10 ATS) was favored by two early this morning for tonight’s home game vs. Kansas. The total was 130 points. The Wildcats have won six straight conference games with a non-conference loss at Texas A&M on Jan. 26. They bounced back from the loss to the Aggies and avoided the look-ahead situation in Saturday’s 75-57 win at Oklahoma State. as 2.5-point road favorites. The ‘under’ is 14-7 overall for KSU, 9-1 in its home games. Bruce Weber’s bunch is 9-1 SU but just 3-7 ATS at home. Kansas is an abysmal 1-5 both SU and ATS in six road assignments. KU had failed to cover the spread in five straight games until beating Texas Tech 79-63 on Saturday as a 4.5-point home ‘chalk.’ Marcus Garrett (7.2 PPG, 3.6 RPG & 2.4 APG) is ‘questionable’ at KSU (ankle). The Jayhawks have won eight in a row over K-State while going 5-2-1 ATS. The ‘under’ is 3-1 in the past four head-to-head meetings. Tip-off is slated for 9:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.

-- As of early this morning, Syracuse was a 2.5 or three-point home favorite for tonight’s home game vs. FSU on the ACC Network at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. The Orange is 9-2 both SU and ATS in its last 11 games. The Seminoles are 2-3 SU and 1-4 ATS in five road outings. They’ve bounced back from a three-game losing streak to win three in a row and improve to 4-4 in ACC action.

Follow Brian Edwards' sports gambling opinions on Twitter at @vegasbedwards.

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